Using the Flow Builder
In this article, we'll cover the specifics of how the Flow builder works, the user interface elements on the Flow builder, and how to use it to create sophisticated Flows.
In this article:
- Inside the Flow Builder
- Step Selector
- Flow Steps
- Connecting Steps
- Step Setup
- Canvas Navigation
- Activate Flow
Inside the Flow builder
- Step Selector.
- Canvas (with Flow Steps).
- Canvas navigation.
- Activate Flow and Flow settings.
Click on the image to see it in full size.
Below we're going to explore each section separately.
- For a Flow to work, you must have at least one Trigger step and one Action step connected.
- You can have more than one Trigger in a Flow.
- You can connect each step to as many Steps as you like. You simply click the arrow at the bottom middle of the step and drag it to the step you'd like to connect.
- You can't connect a Trigger step to another Trigger step. For a Flow to work, you need each Trigger connected to an Action or Filter step.
- Filters are the Steps that sit between Triggers and Actions that allow you to build more personalized Flows. Filters are optional but used often in Flows.
The direction of Steps/Flows
2) Check Condition
3) Yes - Send Email / No - Send Email.
Having multiple paths (sub-flows) in the same Flow
- Triggers – Triggers start Flows. People enter Flows through Triggers.
- Actions – Actions do different marketing automation things, like Sending an email.
- Filters – Filters filter people into different buckets or swimming lanes based on specific conditions.
The elements of a Step on the Canvas
Note that the same person can be in a step more than one time, however, they will show only once in the Step metrics — e.g., they will count as 1 person in "are here" and "were here" sections.
Note on metrics when working with Steps with a large volume of people
Occasionally when you activate a Flow, you will see that people Flow gradually from one step to another. This often happens with large segments of people.
For example, if you have a Flow that is triggered with the Entered Segment step and the Segment has thousands of people, you will see that people enter the next step after the Trigger in batches rather than instantly.
You don't need to wait on the Flow during this time — the Flow will work in the background as usual. Depending on the volume of the people that need to move from one step to another, we recommend checking your Flow two to 15 minutes later to evaluate.
Editing a step will not update or reset the metrics on it. For instance, if you have a Send Email step and 50 people have already passed through that step (were sent the email), editing this step and attaching a new email to it will not reset the metrics of the step.
If you want to have a step with clean metrics, you simply need to drag a new step to the canvas and use it instead.
Deleting and duplicating a step
When you hover on a step on the canvas you will see the Delete and Duplicate options in dark icons.
Deleting a step
Once a step is deleted, it's not possible to restore the step.
Duplicating a step
Duplicating a step will duplicate the step and its contents — the email attached, segment or event selected, and so on. However, it will not duplicate the step metrics.
Note on duplicating, deleting, and editing steps
In some steps – like Send Email, Entered Segment, Event, Segment Event) – the steps and the items attached to them are two separate items. When you're duplicating a step you're only duplicating the step on the canvas, not the email, segment, event, etc. attached to that step. Therefore, if you edit an email attached to a duplicated step you're editing the same email attached to the original step (and any other steps) — you're essentially editing the email, not the step.
This is not the case with Send Email Notification, Send Slack Notification, and Send Intercom In-app Message – with these steps the content of the step and the step are one and the same thing. Duplicating the step will also duplicate the content in it. Deleting the step will also delete the content in it.
You design Flows by connecting Steps. To connect Steps, hover on the step, click on the black arrow at the bottom middle of the step and drag it to the other step.
A link between the two Steps will be created. The pointing arrow at the end of the link indicates the direction in which the Steps Flow (i.e., the sequence of the Steps). Remember that you can design Flows in whichever direction you prefer.
To remove a link simply hover on the link (black line) and click on the red trash icon.
Connections (or links) with options
Some steps have link options allowing you to choose the required condition for a person to proceed to the next step.
For instance, the Check Email Activity filter step enables you to filter people into different paths depending on their email activity: opened, clicked, replied, etc.
Using the link options you can create personalized paths and execute different actions depending on the specific condition of the link.
In the scenario below, I'm sending an email to people that have opened an email and adding those that haven't opened any emails to a Facebook Ads audience.
You can select more than one condition per link. For instance: proceed to the next step if the person has not clicked OR if the person has not replied.
On the bottom, you have Save and Cancel buttons. You can exit the step setup by saving the setup, clicking on the dark overlay above the canvas area or the small X icon at the top left.
On the right, you can find all of the available tabs for the step. By default, the Setup tab is selected.
These tabs will be different depending on the step but the two tabs that are available on all Steps are:
- Setup – The general configuration of the step.
- People – A list of the people who are currently in the step, or were previously in the step. Note that a person can be in a step more than one time, however, in the People section they will show only once.
This section shows a table of all people who:
- Were previously on this step
- Are currently on this step - primarily used for the Wait step to display people who are currently waiting
- Failed on the step - it's possible that a step fails for some people. People that fail to enter the step or people that fail to exit the step will be displayed here. In other words, if, at any point in the step execution, an error occurred, the step would be failed.
Note that "Skipped people" are not considered failed, as they enter a step successfully and are not supposed to exit the step (i.e., there's no error), so they will show under "People that were here" instead.
The people are displayed chronologically, with the latest people who entered the step at the top. You can view their name, email and the time they entered the step. Clicking on a profile will take you to the person's profile.
- Gray minus (-) sign: Zoom out
- Gray plus (+) sign: Zoom in
- Magic wand: Auto-align Flow. This will automatically align all Steps in your Flow. Note that the Auto-align feature aligns items vertically, and once aligned it's not possible to undo the alignment.
- Blue plus (+) sign: Show/hide the Step Selector.
- Zoom in or out using your mouse scrollbar.
- Click, hold, and move on an empty area on the canvas to pan around.